8 Mar 2018 19:12

Russian Central Elections Commission receives 73 complaints from presidential candidates, mostly from Grudinin - chairperson

MOSCOW. March 8 (Interfax) - The Russian Central Elections Commission (CEC) has received over 82,500 appeals related to the upcoming presidential elections, and the authors of an overwhelming majority of them are asking the commission to explain some details of the voting procedure.

"There have been a total of 82,578 appeals. This very large, an unprecedentedly large number shows vividly the interest and feedback that the presidential elections in Russia have generated in society," CEC Chairperson Ella Pamfilova said at a commission meeting.

The CEC received 13,500 appeals by mail, and the other 69,000 were telephone calls to a special hotline arranged by the CEC, she said.

"The authors of an overwhelming majority of these appeals, namely 80,318 out of the 82,578, or 97%, have sought additional information. That is, people have asked for more detailed explanations, and these have mainly concerned our new mechanism that puts an end to that electoral serfdom [the chance to vote at any polling station, not necessarily at the permanent residence address)," she said.

As many as 2,260 telephone calls and written appeals concerned possible irregularities, Pamfilova said. In particular, people complained about inaccuracies in voter lists, mistakes in accepting applications for registering at a particular polling station, and inconvenient working hours of local elections commissions, she said.

"Among the appeals I mentioned, the CEC has received complaints from 46 candidates and 27 authorized representatives of candidates," she said.

Most of these appeals - 64 - have been filed by presidential candidate Pavel Grudinin and his authorized representatives, Pamfilova said. Vladimir Zhirinovsky and his representatives have filed five complaints, and Sergei Baburin, Ksenia Sobchak, Maxim Suraikin, and Grigory Yavlinsky have filed one complaint each.